A/N: Hi guys, I think I owe all of you an apology for taking so long to update this story. Between studying and other random going-ons my life has been a bit busy, but I will try my best to update. I very much enjoy writing this story so I doubt I will drop this project ;). Thank you for leaving all the lovely reviews as well, there's nothing more satisfying than knowing people are actually enjoying reading a story you've created!
Disclaimer: The characters and universe in this fanfiction all belong to the wonder J.K. Rowling.
Flashback, two years ago:
The memory was still quite clear in Albus' memory, it had been a crisp autumn day, the bright colours the leafs proudly displayed had only started to fall. It was quite clear that winter was near and the buzz of excitement for a promising Halloween fest was felt all around the Hogwart's castle. Scorpius Malfoy stood tall in his emerald Slyherin robes as he paced back and forth in the common room, Al's equally bright eyes watched his friend.
"If you don't stop, you might dig a hole into the floor, Scorpius."
His friend simply waved his hands dismissively, folding them behind his back and continuing his steps as he had for the past half-hour.
"I just don't understand. He's your father, why are you so worried?"
It was Albus' sentence that finally seemed to halt him, long enough for him to turn his cold gray gaze towards him, and say, "That's just the thing, Al. My father never visits me here. If it wasn't important news, don't you think he would have just owled me instead?"
He was right, Albus knew this much, but he simply shrugged his shoulders, "How do you know that it's not good news? Why are you set on some sort of horrid news?"
"If it were good news, he would have written me anyways, no matter how important."
He couldn't help but feel uncomfortable in this new environment Scorpius seemed to have built up, wasn't he supposed to be the worry wort while Scorpius ran off and did careless foolishness? It was frustrating, not being able to calm his friend as he had always done. It wasn't long before his friend was called away from the common room, leaving Albus sitting alone.
Scorpius didn't attend the fest that night, in fact he wasn't waiting at the common room either, nor did he show as Albus and the other Slytherins of the same year dressed for bed. It had been near impossible for Albus to fall asleep, when all he could think about was where his friend could be. He pulled a night robe around him and shuffled quietly back into the common room. He sat on one of the large leather coaches, waiting for his best friend to show. At some point he must have dozed off, because the next thing he remembered was his shoulder being shaken. His eyes opened to find Scorpius leaning over him. His gray eyes were wide, and it was hard to miss the fact they were puffy and red, as though he had been crying. He mumbled something that Albus coudn't quite make out, that's when he realized his friend's breath smelt of alcohol.
He wasn't certain what he should begin with, so he said the first thing that slid out of his mouth, "Where have you been?"
The Malfoy didn't make any excuses, he simply remained bent over Albus as he bluntly said, "My mum is dead."
"W-What?" Albus asked in confusion, not quite believing what he had said. How could Astoria Malfoy be dead? Astoria Malfoy, with her long flowing dark hair, her warm motherly smile, and the sweet pumpkin brownies she had always made when Scorpius invited Albus over during summer break. It had been her who had openly accepted the friendship between the two of them.
"My mum is dead," Scorpius repeated, "She was killed... By the killing curse. Dad says it was an old Death Eater, that it was the group the Ministry has been hunting down for sometime now. Apparently our family had to pay for being traitors. Your dad is after them now, you know."
He gaped at his friend for a few moments, opening and closing his mouth to try and say something, but the only thing he could manage was "I-I'm so sorry, Scorpius..."
He just nodded, not replying, though he did finally back away from Albus and sunk onto the coach next to him, "She was so great, you know. I can still remember when-..."
"Don't." Scorpius demanded, cutting his sentence off, "Please don't... I don't think I can..." He didn't finish his own, though, because a line of salty tears begin to trickle down his cheeks and he buried his face into hi hands, mumbling something about how hard he had tried to pull himself together so Albus wouldn't see him in this state, "Damnit..."
He placed a hand firmly on his blonde friend's shoulder, giving it a soft squeeze in an attempt to comfort him, "It's okay to cry. I don't mind..." And he didn't, he would never judge Scorpius, especially when he was in a condition such as this. So broken down... So heartbroken... He had never seen him this way, and it seemed to get to him as well.
"You're the only other person..." Scorpius begin to say, throughout gentle sobs, "That I could really be myself around. I loved my mum so much. Dad never really understood me, but she did... I don't know how I'm going to... Tough it through. I'd be completely lost if we hadn't made friends, you know."
"I know. I feel the same," and he did. Scorpius and him had always had a special connection since the beginning. The understood each other with a simple look, as though they could read each other's minds. Others noticed as well, they would often joke about how the two were always together, even though their personalities seemed to be completely opposite. The two of them wouldn't have it any other way.
They sat up that night together, and Albus listened to everything Scorpius had to say. His fears, his hopes, his dreams. By the morning their friendship had never been as close, and throughout the next year, Albus would help Scorpius live through the pain of losing his mother. He knew it had begun at some point during that time. His developing feelings for his best friend, and up to this day, he was still arguing with himself over how he truly felt. The thought of Scorpius marrying someone and depending on them instead of him... Seemed to cause a fuse of jealous rage in Al's chest, but he knew it would happen one day. The first few girls Scorpius had brought back into the common room had always caused a spark that would soon develop into a fight between the two friends, it was generally over nothing, the real issue at hand had always been shoved aside, both of them too afraid to dangle it in the other's face.
"You wanted to see me, Mr. Potter?"
It was the presence of Professor Faolan that snapped Albus away from his long trail of thoughts, "Oh, yes," He replied, still in a slight daze, "May I come into your office? I think you'll be quite interested in what I have to show you."
"Of course you may," He told the younger man, moving out of the doorway so that Albus may enter, the large tablet packed away safely in his book bag, "please take a seat," he offered, gesturing toward a wooden chair across from his own. He closed the door behind him and took a seat as Al sat as well, "Well?" He asked, raising his eyebrows expectedly.
"Right," Albus set his brown book bag on the desk in front of him. He decided to start with the library, "Are you aware that at this very moment, all of the Ancient Runes books are missing?"
The Professor nodded his head, "I am."
Annoyed that he hadn't added more to his sentence, Albus took a breath and said, "And may I ask why?"
"Didn't Madam Pince tell you the reason?"
"She said they had been taken out for a fixing."
"Than that's where they've gone."
The Slytherin mumbled something under his breath. He had been hoping for more information.
"I have a feeling the books aren't the only reason you've payed me a visit."
"You're right," The black haired boy replied, nodding his head. He reached forward to unsnap the back pack and carefully pull the old rune from it, he then presented it to the Professor, who took no time accepting the offer. The two sat in silence for a long while before he spoke.
"Where did you ever come across this?" He asked him.
"My sister bought it, she said it was from a peddler."
The look the Professor shot him was enough to tell him he highly disapproved, "Those peddlers have been around since the Dark Lord's fall. I wouldn't trust them, tell your sister to be more careful."
Albus, however, was beginning to lose patience, "Right, I will. Can we figure out what it means?"
"I have projects of my own to get to, Mr. Potter," The man replied, passing the tablet back to him, "I view you as a promising student, though. So I do believe you can do it yourself. You could make a fine translator someday."
"It's sort of hard to do anything of the sort with the library emptied out of Ancient Runes books," Al reminded him.
"Ah, you're correct... And that is why..." He pushed back from his seat, turning to a shelf of books behind him that Albus hadn't noticed until that moment. A minute or so later he returned with a large book. It was easy to see it was at least a few centuries old, "If you promise to take great care of this, I think you'll find all the information you need in here."
"Thank you, Professor," He took no time to waste and stood from his chair, tucking the tablet back into his backpack and taking the large book, "You have no idea how much this means to me."
"It's all I can do but try my best to help. Now if you don't mind, I have my lesson plans to attend to. I'll have to bid you goodbye right now, Mr. Potter."
"Right," Al nodded, turning to head out of the office door, "Thank you again."
"Not a problem, my dear boy."
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